Monday, June 14, 2010

June 11, 2010

Perth, Australia. A Potain HDT 80 has lost it's boom during a luffing operation. The boom collapsed landing on the roof of the building being constructed. The HDT 80's have the option of having the jib work at what is called 0 degrees (about 5 degrees) or you can elevate the jib to about 30 degrees which provides a greater hook height. In this case it's described as the jib was being elevated to 30 degrees or luffed up. Fortunately, the proper precaution of not having anyone working below the jib of the crane was heeded here and no one was injured due to the accident.

What I find to be important on the HDT 80's is reviewing the luffing rope every time the crane is erected and dismantled. The rope is difficult to review once the crane is erected as it would take another crane or lift to provide access. If the rope is reviewed as the mast sections are pushed out and, then you can know the condition of the rope. I usually stand over the hoist with a towel in hand allowing the rope to run through the towel (be sure that the towel is not around your hand in the event that you need to release it). This is the only time that the whole rope can be inspected. It is under stress and subjected to the weather constantly, as well as not lubricated because of it's location. Of course it only occasionally moves through sheaves, but let's be clear, the rope can become stiff an brittle from not moving as well.

The other issue on HDT 80's is that they have a locking device on the drum to remove the stress from the drum and brake. Make sure that this device and it's locking nuts are snug at all times. It sounds like this is not the cause of this particular accident, but it's something to keep an eye on.

It's quite possible that this was a luffing winch failure, but ti wouldn't be my first concern, especially with the jib fully erected all ready.

I found this accident listed on They also have a good magazine called Cranes and Access that I've enjoyed.

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